Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Desserts Are Meant To Be Savored, Not Shared

            Do I sound like a brat? Good. When it comes to desserts, that’s exactly who I wanna be. I know I’ve mentioned before that I simply don’t understand people who say, “I’m not really into sweets.” It’s like nails on a blackboard to my ears. (These people contort their faces in a pretentious kind of way when they utter these dreadful words, as if they’re soooo much better than me for not possessing a sweet tooth.) What part of the gene pool did these folks come out of, because I’m ready to eradicate it right now!  Or perhaps they are all in denial, and need to visit their local psychiatrist. I admittedly judge people who make such statements out loud. (Keep it to yourselves, you haters!) In my opinion, dessert is what puts the finishing touch on any great meal. It is the quintessential “cherry on top”… literally. So when something is THAT good, why on earth would you want to share it with someone else?

            Did you say you don’t wanna get fat and that’s why you skip dessert? Okay, even a dessert hoarder like me must acknowledge the validity of that response. Now more than ever, people are hyper aware of their appearances. Between social media and all the devices we have (selfie sticks, selfie ring lights, tripods, etc.) to help capture images of ourselves to then post on social media, it’s obvious we’re always checking one another out, whether online or in person. One must always look their “Sunday best”. So of course no one wants to eat that piece of Mississippi Mud Pie at the Cheesecake Factory and feel like a big old fattie on camera, do they? Well… I kind of do. I know I’ve been working on better eating habits, but a gal’s gotta treat herself every once in a while, right?

            And that’s the point. If I decide I AM going to treat myself, why on earth would I want to let anyone else have even ONE bite of MY Godiva Chocolate Brownie Sundae? (I’m sounding like a terrible two again aren’t I?) As a hospitality worker, I was always trained to put down spoons for everyone at the table when someone orders dessert—even if it’s one person at a table of ten. The other nine people simultaneously bemoan, “Oh, I’m so full, I can’t eat another bite!” An evil laugh plays in my head as I listen to these LIARS. Because the minute the dessert hits the table, the poor person that actually ordered it barely gets to pick up his spoon before the other nine people have completely devoured it. That’s what I call a “closet dessert lover”… a person who pretends they’re not interested in dessert until they see it right in front of them. My motto is: “There’s an invisible compartment in your stomach that is available for dessert at all times.” And it’s TRUE. Say that to a table, and watch how many people order dessert!

            All that said, nothing irks me more than when I go to a restaurant and order dessert, only to watch the server putting spoons down for everyone at the table. Hello??? Did I say I was SHARING my dessert? I was at the Cheesecake Factory when a server did this to me. The moment my dessert was put down in front of me, it was like everything went into slow motion. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw my sister-in-law gradually reach for her spoon as my brother said in that warped-half-speed-voice, “Don’t do that, hon! She’s not sharing.” And just like that, time went back to normal speed. Thank you, bro! I’m NOT.

            I will admit, there are times I share my dessert. Even a food lover like me doesn’t always have full capacity available in my invisible compartment for dessert. But it's MY choice. No one should ever expect me to offer a taste. And I promise, in return I will respect your right to privately relish your delightful goody. The bible says “Man does not live by bread alone,” nor should he live by a diet consisting of only Ho Hos and Ring Dings. Although on second thought, maybe if I COULD exist that way, I might be more willing to give everyone at the table a spoon. But when dessert is something I eat sporadically, I don’t feel like it needs to be a group endeavor. I know we’re taught as children to share, but when it comes to desserts, the pleasure is ALL MINE.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Nothing Like A Little Food Shopping To Make Me Want To Start A Food Fight!

                  Is it just me or do supermarkets make you want to howl like one of those babies in the shopping carts? Seriously, it’s awful. I’m usually the 555-TAKE-OUT girl, but it’s a New Year and although I rebuked New Year’s resolutions last week, I still feel that turning a new page is in order. Given my regimen of regular exercise and improved eating habits in 2017, I want to step it up a notch in 2018. What better way to do that than buy your own food… or so I thought. In hindsight, I may need to get another job and invest in Fresh Direct instead!

                  From the minute I walked in the door of Key Food, I was already annoyed. So many people… like, EVERYWHERE! And this wasn’t the day or even the day after the “big storm”. This was just a normal afternoon. Wherever I moved, someone was right there. It was like an obstacle course, as I narrowly avoided someone’s shopping cart or backpack from inadvertently hitting me. As I tried to select my vegetables for a salad, I’d bump into someone again who was trying to grab the same tomato as me. Back off, pal. That juicy beefsteak is MINE! And then I’m trying to concentrate on what else I need to buy while being disturbed by some guy talking about how he had to wait to get approved for something. Approved for what? A credit card? Or was it a brain transplant because hey, buddy, WE CAN ALL HEAR YOU ON THE PHONE! Maybe you don’t want to broadcast the details of your personal life in the middle of the produce section, which is a note to all of us—especially me—to be careful what you say in public. Our ears can hear you, whether we want to or not.

I think in horror if I had instead gone to the Trade Fair. Oh, Trade Fair. Never heard of it? We Queens residents know it well. There’s a special place in hell for the people that designed this food store. Their website claims to have a “giant selection of food and products”. I guess they’re so busy packing that giant selection into the store that they barely left room for shoppers to get down the compacted aisles. I feel like a mouse in one of those mazes as I make my way through the store, just hoping I’ll eventually find my way to the cashier (which is the human version of the piece of cheese the mouse so desperately wants). Speaking of the cashier, why do some of them act like they’re moving in slow motion instead of picking up the pace so we can escape from this torture chamber? Let’s move things along, everyone. Or better yet, install a self-service checkout!

                  And nothing seems to be organized in these places. In the Trade Fair, I’ll find cereal in one aisle and then wait! There’s another aisle that has “International Foods”. Oh, that’s where my Kashi Organic Island Vanilla whole wheat biscuits baked with sweet vanilla is hiding. Seriously??? Get it together guys. No, really. GET IT TOGETHER. All cereal should be grouped in ONE PLACE. It makes sense. But then, I’ve already proven that supermarkets don’t make sense. I mean, why does Cracker Barrel need to be put in a completely different area of the store than the other cheeses? Is it not classy enough to be with my BelGioioso American Grana Extra Aged Parmesan Cheese? (I guess that does sound a bit sexier than Cracker Barrel.) But still… can’t you keep the cheeses in the same place and let us shoppers decide which is the sexiest cheese to place in our shopping carts? Oh, the agony! But what can you expect from a store that puts kitty litter right next to the soap. That’s just gross.

                  Seriously, my hat is off to all you cooks out there who brave these establishments in search of your items to make that glorious meal that I will happily eat when I come to your house with a bottle of wine in one hand and a dessert in the other. Keep shopping (and cooking) on my behalf. Lord knows I don’t like doing either. And yes I know what I just said about coming over your house for dinner with dessert in hand. It may be indulgent for someone who’s trying to focus on better eating habits, but a girl’s gotta treat herself every once in a while. Bon appetit!